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Posted 26 Apr 2004

Ini Handler

, 2 Jun 2004
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Permits simple access to ini files


This class (IniHandler) permits Ini file access. The class represents the contents of the ini, and has functions to list, add, remove and rename categories (they would rather be sections, but ... whatever), and can list, create, delete, and modify key-value pairs. The class has static methods to read and write files.

Using the code

The only class is the IniHandler class in which everything is implemented. It does not write every change directly to the file. You rather get all data, then modify it, and at last save it.

The first part handles all the structure:

All data is saved in one System.Collections.SortedList which contains the category names as keys, and all key-value pairs as values, saved as SortedLists too. So this means there are SortedLists in a SortedList. That behaves like an array in an array, but with dynamic bounds and strings as indexers.

I hope you did understand this, it would have been easier to explain in French or German. You can of course list all categories, and all keys in a specified category. When you want to modify or read a value, you need to specify the categoryname and the keyname only.

This code is all you need to write an ini:

IniStructure Ini = new IniStructure();
IniStructure.WriteIni(Ini,"c:\filename.ini","Optional \n multiline \n comment");

The ini c:\filename.ini would then contain:

# Optional
# multiline
# comment


Each time you write, the file is cleared and rewritten from scratch.

To read an ini, it's very similar:

IniStructure Ini = IniStructure.ReadIni("C:\filename.ini");
string[] allCategories = Ini.GetCategories();

// if Global would be a category, this lists all keys:
string[] keysInGlobal = Ini.GetKeys("Global");
// and if testkey would be a key in Global:
string testKeyValue = Ini.GetValue("Global","testkey");

There are also methods to list the categories and the key-value pairs by index, but they are only used to iterate through all categories and keys during saving.

Points of Interest

It's the first time I use SortedLists, and first tried to write this without them, but I'm happy that I found them because it makes the code a lot simpler. There are some things to do, like error handling: because most methods only return bool, you can only know if an error occurred, but no more. Things like incorrect names (no '=', '[', ']' ... in category names etc..) are handled, but that's all. There's sure room for improvement, but, that's always the case, isn't it?


  • April 17th : First version.
  • May 29th : Bugfix - IniStructure.ReadIni(string) can now read read-only ini files because it opens the file with the FileAccess.Read param.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Switzerland Switzerland
I left the Microsoft world, and am now working with linux and a BSD. This switch was a big relief, mostly for my keyboard, which doesn't get slammed again.

A big thank you to those who helped me with their good articles.

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Comments and Discussions

Questionopen source licence question Pin
gemsi7-Jan-15 22:54
membergemsi7-Jan-15 22:54 
Questionsections bug Pin
Member 770255324-Feb-11 8:02
memberMember 770255324-Feb-11 8:02 
GeneralDeleteCategory doesn't work to me Pin
cH40z-Lord9-Oct-07 3:22
membercH40z-Lord9-Oct-07 3:22 
GeneralNini Pin
Mattman2061-Aug-06 12:37
memberMattman2061-Aug-06 12:37 
Generalencoding problem. Pin
margiex27-Feb-06 17:17
membermargiex27-Feb-06 17:17 
GeneralSorting Pin
Cemeron31-Jan-06 12:39
memberCemeron31-Jan-06 12:39 
GeneralTiny bugfix Pin
Rolf Therkildsen16-Aug-05 21:37
memberRolf Therkildsen16-Aug-05 21:37 
QuestionAnother version without SortedList??? Pin
WayneC3-May-05 23:05
memberWayneC3-May-05 23:05 
Generaldownload error Pin
Barraq31-Jul-04 2:09
sussBarraq31-Jul-04 2:09 
GeneralRe: download error Pin
kratchkov1-Aug-04 21:38
memberkratchkov1-Aug-04 21:38 
GeneralImprovement Pin
Alex Rovner29-Jul-04 14:22
memberAlex Rovner29-Jul-04 14:22 
GeneralRe: Improvement Pin
kratchkov1-Aug-04 21:38
memberkratchkov1-Aug-04 21:38 
What are you doing? Changing code structure or adding a huge bunch of new functionality?

I've stopped developing this project, and it's nice from you to continue the work. Of cource, feel free to republish it.

Instead of printing "No errors have been found", a compiler should rather print "None of your errors have been found", which would be, in most cases, true.

GeneralRe: Improvement Pin
Alex Rovner2-Aug-04 6:34
memberAlex Rovner2-Aug-04 6:34 
GeneralRe: Improvement Pin
kratchkov4-Aug-04 9:56
memberkratchkov4-Aug-04 9:56 
GeneralRe: Improvement Pin
quintonviljoen22-Dec-04 20:38
memberquintonviljoen22-Dec-04 20:38 
GeneralRe: Improvement Pin
AndyYerg1-Mar-07 9:24
memberAndyYerg1-Mar-07 9:24 
Generalsmall mistake Pin
Filip Geens7-Jul-04 23:00
memberFilip Geens7-Jul-04 23:00 
GeneralRe: small mistake Pin
lokeshdeshmukh16-Jun-08 0:33
memberlokeshdeshmukh16-Jun-08 0:33 
GeneralForm Pin
Filip Geens7-Jul-04 22:41
memberFilip Geens7-Jul-04 22:41 
GeneralRe: Form Pin
kratchkov8-Jul-04 11:10
memberkratchkov8-Jul-04 11:10 

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